25 June 2012

corn, three ways

Okay, for any of you who read that header and thought of gritty French films, get your minds out of the proverbial gutter.  I'm taking the piss out of what seems to be de rigeur in restaurants at the moment - having *xyz*, three ways is the cool thing to do.  Kyle and I have seen it so many times that its become a bit of a personal joke, to try and figure out just how the three ways might be, and why they bother.  For example, duck, three ways - so you get a bit of leg, a bit of breast, and some duck confit.  The first two are cooked the same way, and the third, well I didn't actually know what that was until I looked in wikipedia (the waitress not being sure, and the chef far too busy and important to explain to her).  Don't get me wrong, I love trying out new flavours, and different cooking methods, but sometimes it just seems to be done for the sake of presenting a range, at the expense of the food. 
But anyway, moving on.  To corn, three ways.  This is actually about muffins.  Corn, bacon etc muffins.  And the muffins have three types of corn - polenta, kernels and creamed.  And they're yum.  We tried them fresh out of the oven (perfect Sunday afternoon treat), and I've got one lined up for my morning tea, heated, with a little butter.  Do you ever go to a cafe and just seeing all the food in the cabinets makes you want to go home any bake?  Most of the time I resist the urge, but not yesterday.  They had some arancini (panko-crumbed risotto balls), which looked tasty.  That got me thinking about savoury yum foods.  Then the guy started bringing out the blueberry muffins for the day and my afternoon's fate was sealed.  But, not having blueberries, and fancying doing something with bacon, these muffins arrived in our oven... 

1/2 cup polenta
1/2 cup milk
3 (or more...) bacon rashers, rind removed, chopped into cm pieces
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 chilli, chopped
1 1/2 cups SR flour
1 tbsp castor sugar
400 g tin corn kernels, drained
50 g creamed corn
100 g butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper
24 cubes cheese (1 cm cubes)
grated cheese, for top
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius (180 if you're using fan bake).  Spray 12 muffin tins.
  2. Mix polenta and milk in a small bowl, cover, and set aside to stand for 20 minutes.
  3. Saute bacon, onion and chilli until bacon cooked and veges softened.  Remove from heat.
  4. Sift flour and sugar into a large bowl.  Stir in corn kernels, creamed corn and bacon mixture.  Add melted butter, eggs, salt and pepper and polenta mixture and mix until just combined.  You may need to add a dash more milk, if batter not battery enough.  But remember to add only a small bit extra at a time, 'cause you can't take it back out! 
  5. Place a cube of cheese in bottom of each muffin tin.  Spoon batter into tins.  Press second cheese cube into centre of each muffin and sprinkle with grated cheese. 
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. 

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